Christianism ("Christianity"), Etc.

from: Josephus and Modern Scholarship, (1937-1980), Louis H. Feldman, Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York, 1984.

"....The title...[Greek word] which Josephus (War 2. 169) gives to Pilate definitely is the equivalent of procurator.

A new inscription on a two-by-three-foot stone discovered in 1961 in Caesarea establishes that Pilate's official title was prafectus rather than procurator (the title given him by Tacitus, Annals 15.44.3), thus confirming the view of MOMMSEN (1400) that Pilate was not a procurator but a prefect [see 1991]. FROVA (1401) (1402), who presents a magnificent editio princeps of this inscription, notes that the stone has ECTUS, which can be restored only as praefectus. He concludes that a governor of Judaea was called praefectus during the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius, that Claudius changed the title to procurator, and that Tacitus and Josephus (whose...[Greek word] in War 2. 169 for Pilate definitely equals procurator) are guilty of an ANACHRONISM[see 1888][?]. The New Testament, he notes, very accurately refrains from calling Pilate procurator but instead terms him governor (...[Greek word]), whereas Josephus is LOOSER [?] in his terminology...." [318].

'YELNITSKY (1409), as a result of this inscription, PRESENTS THE HYPOTHESIS THAT TACITUS' ANNALS 15.44.3, WHERE PILATE IS TERMED PROCURATOR, IS A CHRISTIAN INTERPOLATION. But we may ask what a Christian would gain by calling Pilate procurator rather than prefect; on the contrary, we may suggest, if a Christian were to change the text of Tacitus, we would expect him to bring it into line with the New Testament, which terms Pilate...[Greek word], "governor", rather than procurator, MICHELFEIT (1410), p. 518, and KOESTERMANN (1411), p. 463, refute YELNITSKY (1409) and convincingly argue for the authenticity of Tacitus' text.' [319].

"WEBER (1415), commenting on the discrepancy between the inscription and Tacitus, says that Josephus' description of Pilate as a procurator is NOT NECESSARILY A LATE CHRISTIAN INTERPOLATION but reflects his [Josephus] INEXACTITUDE [?] when it comes to the technical terms about ruling." [320].

PAGE 1851

from: Tacitus, in Five Volumes, III, The Histories Books IV-V, with an English translation by Clifford H. Moore of Harvard University, The Annals Books I-III, with an English translation by John Jackson, Harvard University Press, William Heinemann, Ltd. MCMLXXIXX [sic (delete last X) (1979)] (1931).

"The exact date of his [Tacitus c. 55 - c. 120 C.E.] birth is equally unknown, but he [Tacitus] was senior by a few years to his intimate friend and correspondent, the younger Pliny [62 - 113]; who states in a letter to him that he was in his eighteenth year at the time of the great eruption of Vesuvius which destroyed Pompeii, Herculaneum, and his uncle [Pliny the Elder 23 - 79 C.E.] in the late summer of 79 A.D." [228]. [Suetonius c. 69 - after 122 (friend of Pliny) (knew Tacitus?)].

"The text of the first six books of the Annals depends entirely on the Mediceus primus (saec. [saeculum: century] IX); for the remainder, the authority is the Mediceus secundus (saec. XI); both are now in the Laurentian Library. For the details of their discovery the reader may be referred to Voigt (Wiederbelebung u.s.w. I. p. 249 sqq.). THE TEXT OF THIS EDITION IS ECLECTIC. In the first book the variations from the manuscript are recorded with some fulness [commonly, fullness]; afterwards, in order to economize space, obvious and undisputed corrections, especially of the older scholars, are seldom noticed." [238-239] [End of Introduction].

"Preface [to Vol. IV, The Annals, Books IV-VI, XI-XII]"

"A word, also, should perhaps be said about the few critical notes accompanying the text. As space hardly permitted, and the objects of the edition hardly required, the mention of every divergence from the written tradition, IT WAS DECIDED TO OMIT THE LONG LIST OF THOSE ADMIRABLE CORRECTIONS WHICH, IN THE COURSE OF THE SIXTEENTH, SEVENTEENTH, AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES, CONVERTED THE ANNALS INTO A LEGIBLE BOOK AND HAVE EVER AFTERWARDS REMAINED PART AND PARCEL OF THE TEXT. On the other hand, later corrections, even in minutiae, have almost always been noticed; and if the slightest doubt seemed to me to be attached to any emendation of any date, its author and the manuscript reading have been appended." [vii].

"Book XV [Vol. V, The Annals, Books XIII-XVI]"

[The classic, in the "Annals of Tacitus", XV:XLIV (15:44)]

["Tacitus"] "XLIV. So far, the precautions taken were suggested by human prudence: now means were sought for appeasing deity, and application was made to the Sibylline books; at the injunction of which public prayers were offered to Vulcan, Ceres, and Proserpine, while Juno was propitiated by the matrons, first in the Capitol, then at the nearest point of the sea-shore, where water was drawn for sprinkling the temple and image of the goddess. Ritual banquets and all-night vigils were celebrated by women in the married state. But neither human help, nor imperial munificence, nor all the modes of placating Heaven, could stifle scandal or dispel the belief that the fire had taken place by order. Therefore, to scotch the rumour, Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of

PAGE 1852

cruelty, a class of men, loathed for their vices,1 whom the crowd styled Christians.2 Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator [see "prefect", 1991] Pontius Pilate,3 and the pernicious superstition was checked for a moment, only to break out once more, not merely in Judaea, the home of the disease, but in the capital itself, where all things horrible or shameful in the world collect and find a vogue. First, then, the confessed members of the sect were arrested; next, on their disclosures, vast numbers1 were convicted, not so much on the count of arson as for hatred of the human race.2 And derision accompanied their end: they were covered with wild beasts' skins and torn to death by dogs; or they were fastened on crosses, and, when daylight failed were burned to serve as lamps by night [see 1815]. Nero had offered his Gardens for the spectacle, and gave an exhibition in his Circus, mixing with the crowd in the habit of a charioteer, or mounted on his car. Hence, in spite of a guilt which had earned the most exemplary punishment, there arose a sentiment of pity, due to the impression that they were being sacrificed not for the welfare of the state but to the ferocity of a single man." [another, Christian Romance!] [End of Book XV] [283, 285]. [See: 1864].

[footnotes] '

  1. The charges bandied about in the next century were those always favoured in such cases: ritual murder, nameless abominations with extinguished lights, et hoc genus omne (Just. Mart. Apol. 1. 26, etc.).
  2. About twenty years had elapsed since the name [Christian] arose in Antioch (Acts xi. 26).--For a clear statement of the main problems of this "Neronian persecution," the reader may be referred to Furneaux' Excursus (II2. 416-427 [see 1854]).
  3. The only mention [of Pontius Pilate] in heathen Latin [see 1991].' [282, 283].
  4. [footnote, to the Latin (not referenced above)] "
  5. So the Mediceus, corruptly and, it would seem, defectively; nor is it possible to restore the original with the help of the version of Sulpicius Severus (about 400 A.D.):--interirent, multi crucibus adfixi aut flamma usti, plerique in id reservati ut, cum defecisse c.q.s. (Chron. ii. 29). Nipperdey cut the knot by cancelling aut crucibus...flammandi." [284]. [See: 1688, 1813].

[footnotes] '

  1. The expression, of course, may mean anything. Gibbon [Edward Gibbon 1737 - 1794] compared the terms applied by Livy to the 7,000 people involved in the Bacchanalian scandals--multitudinem ingentem, alterum iam populun (XXXIX.13), multa milia hominum (ib.15).
  2. Jewish "misanthropy"--which was proverbial--may have partly suggested the charge; though from a passage of Sulpicius Severus [see 1991], almost certainly transcribed from the Histories (see vol. ii. p. 220 of this edition), it is evident that the gulf between Jew and Christian had been clearly recognized by the Roman high command in 70 A.D.' [284, 285].

PAGE 1853

from: The Annals of Tacitus, edited with Introduction and Notes by Henry Furneaux, Vol. II. Books XI-XVI, Second Edition, Revised by H.F. Pelham and C.D. Fisher, Oxford, 1907 (printed from sheets of 1951, 1961, 1965) (antecedents to 1883).

"Appendix II


Note.--The authorities consulted are generally specified in their places; but a further general obligation has here to be acknowledged to Dr. C.F. Arnold, 'die Neronische Christenverfolgung,' Leipzig, 1888." ["416"].

"It must seem strange that

ANY ONE WHO HAS STUDIED THE INTERPOLATED PASSAGE IN JOSEPHUS [unexpected admission by this author],4 OR THE CORRESPONDENCE OF ST. PAUL AND SENECA [uncontested classic ("clumsy") forgery],5

should suppose that it ["Neronian persecution of the Christians"] is only a similar, but somewhat more skilful performance of the same kind that lies here before us." [417].

[footnote (not referenced above)] "1St. Augustine thinks it necessary to explain the silence of Seneca (1.1.) by suggesting that he could neither safely praise nor perhaps conscientiously find fault with Christianity. The absence of satirical allusion in still later writers, as Martial and Juvenal, may be explained [Christian apologetics ("Spin"!)] with Bp. Lightfoot (Philippians, Introd. i.) by the small material furnished by Christians to caricature." [419].

"The earliest express reference to any Neronian persecution in a Christian writer is that in the fragment preserved by Eusebius1 of the Apology addressed to M. Aurelius [Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius] by Melito, Bishop of Sardis, about A.D. 170, which, without showing any knowledge of the circumstances as described by Tacitus, sets forth the two most wicked emperors, Nero and Domitian, as having become, at the suggestion of evil counsellors, the only persecutors of the Christians.2 The same note is dwelt upon at greater length by TERTULLIAN [see 1861], who, though he refers his adversaries to the statements of their own writers, and has elsewhere3 distinctly cited Tacitus, SHOWS NO KNOWLEDGE OF THIS PASSAGE OF THE ANNALS.4 By others, as Lactantius,5 Eusebius,6 and Jerome,7 Nero is spoken of in general terms as a persecutor, with no allusion to these many and nameless victims, but as having caused the martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul; and it is in Sulpicius Severus alone that any unmistakable following of the narrative of Tacitus is shown [this ("it is...shown.") is refuted. see 1813].8 [see footnote, below]" [422].

[footnote] "8The only earlier Christian writing that even so far follows Tacitus as to connect the persecution with the fire is the apocryphal correspondence of Paul and Seneca, which must have been written at some date before the time of Jerome [c. 342 - 420], who refers to it as if genuine. See below, p. 425, 3." [422].

PAGE 1854

from: Tacitus Reviewed, A.J. Woodman, Oxford, 1998.

Comment: glancing (Index, etc.), I was amused to find no reference to Annals 15:44, or, Christians [for gory Fictional story (Annals 15:44), see 1852-1853].

"....Traditional views die hard, and, despite the range and eminence of the scholars who have studied Tacitus during the twentieth century, the standard interpretations of his [Tacitus] text have been too little questioned. Readers, as a general rule, have read what they expected to read; familiarity has bred complacency; the Annals has become, ironically, a comfortable narrative.

In this book I have tried to raise questions about the nature and meaning of that narrative, often proposing radically different readings of famous passages on which there exists a scholarly consensus...." [243].

"Index of Passages" [Annals]

(15.13.2,15.2-4, 24. 1) 183

(15.34.1) 158, 221-2

(15.36-7) 168-69

[note: Annals 15:44 not listed]

(15.48-74) 190-217

(15.48.1) 181, 215

(15.50.1) 201

[quotation marks omitted] [251].

from: Irony and Misreading in the Annals of Tacitus, Ellen O'Gorman, University of Bristol, Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Comment: glancing (Index, etc.), I was amused to find no reference to Annals 15:44, or, Christians [for gory Fictional story (Annals 15:44), see 1852-1853].

"Index Locorum" [Annals]

15.39.3 172-3

15.41.1 173 n. 63

15.43.1 174

15.43.5 174-5

[note: Annals 15:44 not listed]

15.49.2 155

15.49.3 156-7

15.60.2 171 n. 60

[quotation marks omitted] [199].

PAGE 1855

from: The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus, by Arthur Drews [1865 - 1935], Tr. Joseph McCabe, Watts, 1912. Arno reprint, 1972. [See: 1783-1788].

'The Roman Witnesses

--Pliny [62 - 113] and Suetonius [c. 69 - after 122].

We now come to the Roman witnesses to the historicity of Jesus.

Of the younger Pliny [friend of Suetonius and Tacitus [c. 55 - 120]] it is hardly necessary to speak further in this connection. He was dragged into the discussion of the "Christ-myth" at a late stage, merely to enlarge the list of witnesses to the historicity of Jesus. No one seriously believes that any such evidence is found in Pliny.1 [see footnote, 1857] In his correspondence with the Emperor Trajan, which is believed to have taken place about the year 113, and which is occupied with the question how Pliny, as Proconsul of the province of Bithynia in Asia Minor, was to behave in regard to the Christians, he informs the Emperor that the adherents of the sect sing hymns to Christ at daybreak "as if he were a god (quasi deo)." What this proves as regards the historical reality of the man Christ we should be pleased to have rationally explained.2 [see footnote, 1857] What has been said on the subject up to the present is merely frivolous, adapted only to an utterly thoughtless circle of readers or hearers. Yet even a man like Jülicher does not hesitate to quote Pliny among the profane witnesses. He also mentions Marcus Aurelius [Emperor 161 - 180 (121 - 180)], who expresses his anger against the Christians in his Meditations [XI:3 ("here only mentioned and this probably a gloss [interpolation]" (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Haines, Loeb, 396))] (about the year 175!), and assures us that what is meant there by Christianity is the community of those who believed in the Jesus of our and their gospels as their God and Saviour (p. 17). We are grateful for this "information," but we should have expected that a scholar like Jülicher would have something more serious to tell us on the subject.

There seems to be more significance in the words of the Roman historian Suetonius [friend of Pliny (knew Tacitus?)] (77-140 A.D.), who tells us in his Life of Claudius (c. 25) that that emperor "expelled from Rome the Jews because, at the instigation of Chrestus, they were perpetually making trouble" (Claudius Judaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit). If we only knew precisely who is meant by this Chrestus! The name in the text is not "Christus," but "Chrestus" [see 1864] (and in some manuscripts Cherestus), which is by no means the usual designation of Jesus, while it is a common name, especially among Roman freedmen. Hence the whole passage in Suetonius may have nothing whatever to do with the question of Christianity. It may just as well refer to any disturbances whatever caused among the Jews by a man named Chrestus, and it does not say much for the "scientific" spirit of theologians when they interpret it in their own sense without further ado. [note: for age comparisons: Lucian c. 117 - c. 180]

An attempt has been made to connect the passage in Suetonius with the messianic expectation of the Jews, and to interpret it in the sense of referring either to quarrels in the Jewish community at Rome owing to the belief of those who held that Jesus was the Messiah they all expected, or to a general agitation of Roman Judaism on account of its

PAGE 1856

messianic ideas and hostility to the pagan world. The first alternative, however, is not very helpful in view of the fact that, when Paul came to Rome about ten years afterwards to preach the gospel, the Jews there seem to have known nothing whatever about Jesus; and, according to the account in Acts, his arrival led to no disturbance among them.1 The second alternative, on the other hand, contains no evidence for the historicity of Jesus, as, even if we substitute Christus for Chrestus, "Christus" is merely the Greek-Latin translation of "Messiah," and the phrase "at the instigation of Chrestus" would refer to the Messiah generally, and not at all necessarily to the particular Messiah Jesus as an historical personality.2

In any case, HOWEVER WE INTERPRET THE PASSAGE OF SUETONIUS, IT HAS NO BEARING WHATEVER ON THE QUESTION OF THE HISTORICITY OF JESUS. Jülicher and Weinel admit this when they omit Suetonius in their enumerations of profane witnesses. J. Weiss also admits: "The passage in the time of Claudius 'impulsore Chresto' betrays so inaccurate a knowledge of the facts that it cannot seriously be regarded as a witness" (p. 88).

2--Tacitus. [see 1783-1788]

THE PASSAGE IN SUETONIUS LEAVES IT UNCERTAIN WHO CHRESTUS IS, AND CANNOT, THEREFORE, BE ADVANCED AS A PROOF OF THE HISTORICITY OF JESUS. It is very different with the evidence of Tacitus. In the Annals (xv, 44) Christ is expressly mentioned as an historical personage [see 1852-1853 (Annals 15:44)]....' [19-21].

[footnotes] "1It is characteristic of the tactics of our opponents that certain Catholic writers have begun to appeal to Porphyry, the Neoplatonic philosopher, who lived 232-304 A.D. He wrote many words against Christianity, which we know only indirectly from the refutations of Methodius and Eusebius. No one can say precisely what they contained, as the Emperor Theodosius II. prudently ordered them to be burned in public in the year 435. What does that matter to the theologian as long as he can bring one more name into the field?

2Moreover, the genuineness of this correspondence of Pliny and Trajan is by no means certain. Justin does not mention it on an occasion when we should expect him to do so, and even Tertullian's supposed reference to it (Apol., cap. ii) is very doubtful. The tendency of the letters to put the Christians in as favourable a light as possible is too obvious not to excite some suspicion. For these and other reasons the correspondence was declared by experts to be spurious even at the time of its first publication, at the beginning of the sixteenth century; and recent authorities, such as Semler, Aubé (Histoire des Persécutions de l'Église, 1875, p. 215, etc.), Havet (Le Christianisme et ses Origines, 1884, iv, 8), and Hochart (Études au Sujet de la Persécution des Chrétiens sous Néron, 1885, pp. 79-143; compare also Bruno Bauer, Christus und die Cäsaren, 1877, p. 268, etc.; and the anonymously published work of Edwin Johnson [see 1900], Antiqua Mater, 1887), which have disputed its authenticity, either as a whole or in material points [see 1701-1702]." [18-19].

PAGE 1857

from: Pliny [62 - 113], Letters and Panegyricus, in Two Volumes, I, Letters, Books I-VII, with an English Translation by Betty Radice, William Heinemann Ltd, Harvard University Press, MCMLXIX.


"For Book X there are considerable difficulties...." [xxvi].

_____ _____ _____

from: Pliny, Letters and Panegyricus, in Two Volumes, II, Letters, Books VIII-X, with an English translation by Betty Radice, William Heinemann Ltd, Harvard University Press, MCMLXIX.

"Book X."


Pliny [62 - 113] to the Emperor [98 - 117] Trajan2 [see footnote, below]

[Pliny] It is my custom to refer all my difficulties to you. Sir, for no one is better able to resolve my doubts and to inform my ignorance.

I have never been present at an examination3 of Christians [Latin in text: "Christianis"]. Consequently, I do not know the nature or the extent of the punishments usually meted out to them, nor the grounds for starting an investigation and how far it should be pressed. Nor am I at all sure whether any distinction should be made between them on the grounds of age, or if young people and adults should be treated alike; whether a pardon ought to be granted to anyone retracting his beliefs, or if he has once professed Christianity [Is Latin in text?], he shall gain nothing by renouncing it; and whether it is the mere name of Christian [Latin in text: "Christianus"] which is punishable, even if innocent of crime, or rather the crimes associated with the name.1 ...."

[Note: I have not studied Latin. For greater accuracy, etc., review the above, and, page 1864, with Latin scholars]. [285, 287]. [See: 1864].

[footnote] "2For this celebrated exchange of letters, see Tertullian, Apology II. 6-10 [see 1861], and Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. III. 33 [see 1862]; for trials of Christians, see Eusebius, IV.15, V.1, etc. Note that P. [Pliny] first executes Christians for their contumacia, then has doubts and seeks advice; but the charge is never that of maiestas." [284-285].

PAGE 1858

from: Tertullian [c. 160 - c. 220], Apology, De Spectaculis, with an English translation by T.R. Glover, Fellow of St. John's College and Public Orator in the University of Cambridge. Minucius Felix [d. c. 250], with an English translation by Gerald H. Rendall, based on the unfinished version by W.C.A. Kerr, Harvard; Heinemann, MCMLXXVII.

"It has often been discussed whether Minucius Felix borrowed from Tertullian, and practically rewrote the Apology, or whether the debt was on the other side. In general to-day it seems agreed that Minucius is the later of the two writers. The reader of this volume will decide for himself. While the authors are vastly different, their books are more alike than a modern reader would expect. It is partly that the ancients had different canons or standards from our own as to the propriety of borrowing from other authors. The same difficulty meets the reader of Apuleius's Golden Ass and the less golden Ass attributed to Lucian [see 1867], though now denied to him by some editors: which borrowed, or was there a common archetype? In the Christian Church the lines of apology were early laid down. The testimonia from the Old Testament to be used against the Jew began early to be collected; Justin, Tertullian, Cyprian [see 1830 (Cyprian)] and others use the same passages and in the same way; successive writers extend the collection, and do not improve it. Similarly the apologies addressed to the Emperor or the heathen world have much in common. The parallels are noted in the commentaries." [xx]. [See: Appendix III, 717-732 (Hardouin)].


The Apology

(Text, Editions, Translations, Etc.)

The Apology of Tertullian presents a phenomenon rare in Latin palaeography; there are two distinct manuscript traditions. In the New Testament there is in a rather less degree the same problem about the Acts; for the Codex Bezae (in the Cambridge University Library) has, with a small group of less important MSS., certain readings which it is hard to reject as interpolations, but which are not in ordinary MSS., nor in the great MSS. on which the text to-day is generally based. In the case of the Apology, the main tradition rests on a family of some thirty MSS. [(my (LS) comment) "Once upon a time"] In 1584 François de Maulde (latinized as Modius), who was moving about in Germany to be out of the troubles of France, came in September to Fulda, and stayed there three months. He betook himself to the Benedictine monastery and, among the MSS. which he found there and collated [?], he came on one of Tertullian's Apology. He had with him an edition published by René Laurent de la Barre (Barraeus) in Paris in 1580. With this he very carefully collated [?] his newly found MS., but he did not publish his work. He gave it to a friend, from whom, through another, it came into the hands of François du Jon (Junius), who was engaged on a new edition of Tertullian in Holland, and, as his work was too far advanced to allow incorporation, he printed the collations [?] as an appendix. The MS. was lost, perhaps for ever, in the disorders of the next century; scholars have to depend on the collation [?]...." [xxi]. [See: 1736 (Preface)].

PAGE 1859

"It will be very plain to anyone who tries to translate TERTULLIAN for himself that the author's language is not the Classical Latin of the schools, but that it goes far beyond Tacitus in COMPLEXITY and STRANGENESS--one almost writes, in UNNATURAL COMBINATIONS OF WORD AND SYNTAX [strange! This!, from "The Father of Latin Theology". Or, is this mess, the results of centuries of Christian writers (Forgers! "Spinners"! Etc.!)?]. A little inquiry will reveal that other translators and commentators have felt the same difficulty, and it will hardly be guessing to say that the transcribers of the MSS. were from time to time as much perplexed.

[following, some (tangential) apologetics] Whenever a MS. is copied, or even set up for press, certain things are apt to go wrong; a word is misspelt and has to be corrected without the archetype; a word or a line is dropped, and so on; the cases are familiar. But here is an author [Tertullian] who writes like nobody else. Every copyist, commentator, translator and reader will unconsciously assume the usual things and make the usual sort of correction, with disastrous results." [xxii-xxiii].

PAGE 1860

_____ _____ _____

from: Tertullian, Apology, De Spectaculis, with an English translation by T.R. Glover, Fellow of St. John's College and Public Orator in the University of Cambridge. Minucius Felix, with an English translation by Gerald H. Rendall, based on the unfinished version by W.C.A. Kerr, Harvard; Heinemann, MCMLX (1931).

"Apologeticus, II. [6-10]" [see 1864]

[Tertullian] "....And yet we find it is forbidden even to hunt us [Christians] down. For when Plinius Secundus was governing his province and had condemned some Christians and driven others from their steadfastness, and still the sheer numbers concerned worried him as to what he ought to do thereafter, he consulted the Emperor Trajan.b [see footnote, below] He asserted that, apart from an obstinacy that refused to sacrifice, he had learnt nothing about the Christian mysteries--nothing beyond meetings before dawn to sing to Christ and to God, and to band themselves together in discipline, forbidding murder, adultery, dishonesty, treachery, and the other crimes. Trajan replied in a rescript [see 1862] that men of this kind were not to be sought out, but if they were brought before Pliny they must be punished. What a decision, how inevitably entangled! He says they must not be sought out, implying they are innocent; and he orders them to be punished, implying they are guilty. He spares them and rages against them, he pretends not to see and punishes. Why cheat yourself with your judgement? If you condemn them, why not hunt them down? If you do not hunt them down, why not also acquit them? To track down bandits through all the provinces is a duty assigned by lot to the garrisons. Against those guilty of treason, against public enemies, every man is a soldier; inquiry is extended to confederates, to accessories. The Christian alone may not be hunted down; but he may be haled before the magistrate; as if hunting down led to anything but haling to the court. So you condemn a man when haled to court--a man whom nobody wished to be sought out, who (I suppose) really has not deserved punishment because he is guilty, but because, forbidden to be looked for, he was found!

Then, again, in that matter, you do not deal with us in accordance with your procedure in judging criminals. If the other criminals plead Not guilty, you torture them to make them confess; the Christians alone you torture to make them deny. Yet if it were something evil, we should deny our guilt, and you would use torture to force us to confess it. For you would not hold judicial investigation of our crimes needless, on the ground that you were certain of their commission from the confession of the name; for to this day, though the murderer confesses, and though you know what murder is, none the less you rack out of him the story of his crime." [11, 13].

[footnote] 'bSee the most famous of all Pliny's letters, book x. ep. 96, and Trajan's reply [book x. ep. 97]; and on both see W.M. Ramsay, Church and Roman Empire, p. 187; H.M. Gwatkin, Early Church History, vol. i. ch. vii. pp. 128 ff.; and F.C. Conybeare, The Historical Christ, 162. Also Bishop Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, part ii. vol. i. p. 55, on the genuineness of the letter, quoting Renan on the improbability of a Christian forger being able "si admirablement imiter la langue précieuse et raffinée de Pline."' [10-11].

PAGE 1861

from: Eusebius [c. 260 - c. 340], The Ecclesiastical History, with an English Translation by Kirsopp Lake, in Two Volumes, I, Harvard University Press, William Heinemann Ltd, MCMLXXX (1926).

"Eccles. History, III."

[Eusebius] 'XXXIII. The persecution which at that time was extended against us in many places was so great that Plinius Secundus, one of the most distinguished governors, was disturbed at the number of the martyrs, and reported to the Emperor the number of those being put to death for the faith, and in the same document mentioned that he understood them to do nothing wicked or illegal except that they rose at dawn to sing to Christ as though a God, and that they themselves forbade adultery, murder and similar terrible crimes, and that they did everything in obedience to the law. In answer to this Trajan issued a decree to the effect that the tribe of Christians should not be sought for but punished when it was met with. By this means the imminent threat of persecution was extinguished to some extent, but none the less opportunities remained to those who wished to harm us. Sometimes the populace, sometimes even the local authorities contrived plots against us, so that with no open persecution partial attacks broke out in various provinces and many of the faithful endured martyrdom in various ways. The narrative has been taken from the Latin apology of Tertullian mentioned above of which the translation is as follows:

"Yet we found that this attempt against us was also prevented, for the governor of the province, Pliny Secundus, after condemning certain Christians and depriving them of their rank, was troubled at their number and, not knowing what to do in the future, communicated with the Emperor Trajan, saying that beyond their unwillingness to offer sacrifice to idols, he had found nothing wicked in them. He also mentioned this, that the Christians arose at dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as a God, and in order to preserve their teaching1 forbade murder, adultery, covetousness, robbery, and suchlike. To this Trajan sent a rescript ["a written answer of a Roman emperor"] that the tribe of Christians should not be sought out but punished if met with."

Such were the events at that time.' [validity?] [277, 279].

PAGE 1862

from: The Letters of Pliny [62 - 113], a Historical and Social Commentary, A.N. Sherwin-White, Fellow of St. John's College Oxford, Oxford, 1966. [Note: some examples of scholarly Christian apologetics].

"96. To Trajan [Emperor 98 - 117 (53 - 117)] [discussion: 691-710]

....Preface. It is hardly necessary to defend the genuine character of these two letters [96, 97]...." [691].

"The more subversive criticism of R. Grant, Theol. Rev. (Harvard, 1948), 273 f., calls for more serious comment. He suggests that Pliny wrote up his account not so much from the evidence of the witnesses, as in terms and style borrowed from Livy's narrative of the Bacchanalian scandal. What of the rest of Book X? The supposition must be that the book was a literary compilation like Books I-IX, which is clearly false. It is true that Pliny never quite shakes himself free in X from the literary and oratorical training to which he had devoted his previous life. But this letter like all others in X is a factual report to the Princeps [Trajan], however well[?] written, and whatever the literary echoes...." [692].

"Pliny's narrative is summarized more briefly, and as accurately [?], by Eusebius 3.33. 128-9, who quotes Tertullian. The TRADITION is given with various INACCURACIES by Jerome, Chron. s. Ol. 221; Sulpicius Severus, Chron. 2.31.2; Orosius 7.12.3; Zonaras II. 22 C-D." [692].

"cognitionibus [see 1796] de Christianis [see 1875] interfui numquam. This implies that Pliny knew that such trials had taken place within the period of his public career, and hence at Rome...." [694].

"ideo nescio quid et quatenus aut puniri solet aut quaeri. Merrill, ad loc., PERVERSELY CONSTRUED quid with puniri and quatenus with quaeri, to mean 'what punishment should be inflicted, and how far should the investigation be pushed?' But the order is chiasmatic [chiasmus: "A grammatical figure by which the order of words in one of two parallel clauses is inverted in the other." (O.E.D.))]. The questions expanded in the following sentence are quatenus puniri and quid quaeri. Durry, ad loc., rightly compared Ep. 92 'quid et quatenus aut permittendum aut prohibendum putares', where the order is also chiasmatic. Pliny here does not doubt that convicted Christians are liable to the maximum penalty, but is aware that in cognitio extra ordinem the governor was free to vary the penalty (Appendix, p. 782)." [695-696].

PAGE 1863

Latin text English translation

Tacitus [c. 55 - 120] [Loeb Classical Library (published by Harvard; Heinemann)] Annals 15:44 [see 1852-1853], has the following Latin words, with the root Christ:

Christianos Christians

Christus Christus

Pliny [62 - 113] [friend of Tacitus and Suetonius (see 1795, 1852)] [Loeb] Letters 10:96 [see 1858]; 10:97, have the following Latin words, with the root Christ:

  • Christianis Christians
  • Christianus Christian
  • Christiani [see 1875] Christians (Christian (10:96.5))
  • Christianos Christians
  • Christo Christ
  • Christianum Christian
  • Suetonius [c. 69 - after 122] [Loeb] The Deified Claudius XXV.4 [see 1856], has:
  • Chresto Chrestus,b

[footnote] "bAnother form of Christus[?]; see Tert. Apol. 3 (at the end). It is uncertain whether Suetonius is referring to the beginning of the Christian cult in Rome or to some Jews of that name. Tacitus, Ann. 15.44, uses the correct form, Christus, and states that he was executed in the reign of Tiberius." [50].

Suetonius [c. 69 - after 122] [Loeb] Nero XVI.2 [see 1878], has:

  • Christiani [see 1875] Christians

Tertullian [c. 160 - c. 220] [Loeb] Apology II:6-10 [see 1861]; V:-27, have the following Latin words, with the root Christ:

  • Christianis Christians
  • Christo Christ
  • Christianum Christian
  • Christianorum Christians
  • Christianos Christians

Comment: accuracy (see 1858)? Significance? Stylometry? Literary forensics?

PAGE 1864

from: The Oxford Classical Dictionary, Third Edition, Edited by Simon Hornblower, and Antony Spawforth, Oxford, 1996.

"JOSEPHUS (Flavius Josephus) (b. AD 37/8), was a Greek historian [Jewish historian, whose works are written in Greek (Jewish War "probably written originally in Aramaic" (Ox. Dict. C.C.))] but also a Jewish priest of aristocratic descent and largely Pharisaic education (see Pharisees), and a political leader in pre-70 *Jerusalem....


"LUCIAN (...[Greek word], of Samosata (b. c. AD 120), accomplished belletrist [related to belles lettres ("light entertaining literature", etc.)] and wit in the context of the *Second Sophistic. The details of his life are extremely sketchy, and his own presentations of his biography are literary and therefore suspect. His native language was not Greek [Note: works are in Greek] but probably *Aramaic....

He [Lucian c. 117 - c. 180] was known to *Galen [129 - c. 199] for a successful literary fraud....

His weakest moments to contemporary taste are perhaps as a repetitive and superficial moralist, his most successful when he plays with the full range of Classical Greek literature [was Lucian this educated?, or, is this ability from simulators (forgers)?] in a characteristically amusing way." [886-887].

[an aside] from: History and Silence, Purge and Rehabilitation of Memory in Late Antiquity, Charles W. Hedrick Jr., U. Texas, 2000.

"the story of the past can be conceived as a writing over an erasure [compare: "palimpsest" [see 1883]]: history is [construction] a rehabilitation." [xiv]. "By the 380's and 390's the conversion of the elite to Christianity had been under way for the better part of a century....Theodosius insisted that the surviving pagan elite convert. By 431 the Christianization of the senatorial class was essentially complete....This forty-year period is vitally important not only for this history of the Roman elite, but also for the general intellectual and cultural history of Europe." [xv]. "For critics, however, it is the nature of the evidence itself that is at issue. The sources are all Christian, and Christians are regarded as untrustworthy and biased." [51]. 'The very word "pagan" [see 1879] is held to be inadequate and inappropriate for use in modern scholarship; it is a slur, a term that "came into common use (only among Christians) at this period: a bit of sarcasm used behind the victim's back, or occasionally, for the fun of it, to his face."51' [page 51]. "Once Christianity had become the imperial religion [dates?], the conversion of the elite began. Many senators converted voluntarily. Others were forced to convert by the increasingly numerous and intolerant Christians and by a series of imperial decrees from Constantine, Constantius II, Gratian, and Theodosius." [54]. "The conversion of the senate to Christianity was far from completed under Constantine [Emperor 306 (312) - 337]." [55].

PAGE 1865

from: Lucian, With an English Translation by A.M. Harmon of Yale University, in eight volumes, I, Harvard University Press, William Heinemann Ltd, MCMLXI (1913).


Lucian was born at Samosata in Commagene and calls himself a Syrian; he may or may not have been of Semitic stock. The exact duration of his life is unknown, but it is probable that he [Lucian] was born not long before 125 A.D. and died not long after 180." [ix].


[Robert Taylor 1784 - 1844 [see 1879], unfortunately, did not know Philopatris was a forgery (reportedly, 10th or 11th century). Apparently, Philopatris convinced Robert Taylor, that St. Paul [see #4, 105-151] was a historical character

["I [Robert Taylor] have also before quoted the Testimony of satisfactorily proving the identity of St. Paul" (see #24, 496). Thus, was a brilliant mind--tricked, by Christian Forgery! [see 1990 (Philopatris)] [See: #3, 42, 203. (Taylor: St. Peter a Fictional character)]]

[see: Revelations of Antichrist [see 1670-1690], William Henry Burr [1819 - 1908], 1879 (reprinted), 47, 77, 88, 94 (not presented). Like Robert Taylor, William Henry Burr, was tricked, by Christian Forgery! Burr does mention (88): 'many learned critics are convinced that Lucian did not write the "Philopatris," and assign it to a later date, variously from A.D. 261 to 361 [now, reportedly, 10th or 11th century].'

and Astrology; and to these, it seems to me, the Consonants at Law should be added. Furthermore, Demosthenes, Charidemus, Cynic, Love, Octogenarians, Hippias, Ungrammatical Man, Swiftfoot, and the epigrams are generally considered spurious, and there are several others (Disowned and My Country in particular) which, to say the least, are of doubtful authenticity." [xi].

"Very few of his [Lucian] writings can be dated with any accuracy." [xi].


PAGE 1866

from: Lucian [c. 117 - c. 180], And His Influence in Europe, Christopher Robinson, University of North Carolina Press, 1979.

"For an example of a really elaborate stitching together of Lucianic material, without, however, a specific dialogue providing the groundplan, we must go to Philopatris, an anonymous dialogue, probably of the MID-ELEVENTH CENTURY....

The evidence for systematic imitation of Lucian in the dialogue is anything but fragile. It is of two types, according to the section of the work in which it falls. Sections 1-18 consist in an elaborate introduction in which very little is established other than that Critias has undergone a strange and disturbing experience and that Triepho [compare: Trypho, of Justin Martyr] is an orthodox Christian who will not let Critias swear by the pagan gods. If, as has been suggested, the Christian conspirators are guilty of paganism, there may be a more satisfactory disguised link between the two parts of the dialogue than is superficially apparent. The conspirators would be seen as having cast a spell on Critias, who is released from his trance by the true religion [Christian] of Triepho...." [73-34].

"As late as 1549 the Provincial Synod of Cologne included Lucian in a list of books suitable for teaching purposes, while the Roman Index did not get round to putting a blanket veto on Lucian's works until the astonishingly late date of 1590, although Philopatris [reportedly, 10th or 11th century] and Peregrinus [which century?] were condemned from the 1559 Index of Paul IV onward." [98]. [See: 1990].


(i) List of Works Commonly Attributed to Lucian

The works are arranged in the traditional order, as found in Ms. Vaticanus 90. Those marked * are possibly spurious, those marked ** definitely so. The English titles (mostly as in the Loeb translation) are those I have used in the text, the Latin ones those in more or less standard use since the sixteenth century. Where the title is the same almost to the letter in all three languages I have given only the English....

*Demonax (Dmnaktos bios, Demonax)...

*In Praise of my Country (Patridos enkmion, Patriae encomium)

**Octogenarians (Makrobioi, Longaevi)...

* The Consonants at Law (Dik phnentn, Iudicium vocalium)...

** The Sham Sophist (Pseudosophists soloikists, Soloecista)

* The Ass (Loukios onos, Lucius sive asinus)...

PAGE 1867

* The Syrian Goddess (Peri ts Suris theou, De dea Syria)...

* Astrology (Peri ts astrologias, De astrologia)

** Affairs of the Heart (Ertes, Amores)...

** In Praise of Demosthenes (Dmosthenous enkmion, Demosthenis encomium)...

* Gout (Podagra, Tragoedopodagra)...

** Halcyon (Halkun peri metamorphsen, Halcyon)...

** Swift o'foot (Okupous, Ocypus)

** The Cynic (Kunikos, Cynicus)...

Also included in Mss. [Manuscripts] are the following indubitably spurious works, with their provenance indicated in brackets:

Philopatris (Byzantine) [see 1866]

Charidemus (possibly early Byzantine)

Nero (perhaps a work of the first Philostratus, see M.D. Macleod Loeb Lucian vol. VIII, 505-7 [see 1870 (Macleod)]

The Epigrams (various hands) [239, 240, 241-242].

PAGE 1868

from: Culture and Society in Lucian [c. 117 - c. 180], C.P. Jones, Harvard, 1986.

'Appendix C

Disputed Works

THERE WILL NEVER BE AGREEMENT ON A CANON OF LUCIAN'S WORKS. I have tended to exclude those about which there is strong suspicion, but give here a list of doubtful cases, briefly indicating my reasons for or against authenticity and some recent bibliography. The following are agreed to be spurious and are not noted: Am., Charid., Cyn., Halc., Macr., Nero [see 1870], Ocyp., Philop. [see 1866 (Philopatris)]

Asin. The linguistic arguments seem decisive against authenticity (Helm, RE 13 [1927] 1749; henceforth cited as "Helm"), but the work has had many defenders, thus Macleod in the Loeb translation (8.47-51, esp. 50, "Lucian's own hand had some share in the composition"), Anderson, Studies 34-49; against, Hall, Lucian's Satire 354-367.

Astr. This defense of astrology seems incredible in Lucian: authenticity is argued by Hall, Lucian's Satire 381-388. ["Lucianic origin" (Harmon, Lucian, Loeb, vol. V, 347)]

Dem. Enc. The extreme artificiality of construction and the vocabulary seem to exclude Lucian as the author (Helm, 1736). But for a defense, Baldwin, Antichthon 3 (1969) 54-62; Hall, Lucian's Satire 324-331.

Epigr. Some of these may well be genuine: Baldwin, Phoenix 29 (1975) 311-335.

Paras. This curious pastiche of Plato seems excluded by its language (Helm, 1754), though it is defended by Anderson, Phoenix 33 (1979) 59-66 and by Hall, Lucian's Satire 331-339.

Patr. Enc. This has been supposed a sketch or fragment (Helm, 1754), but without good reason: Bompaire, Lucian écrivain 278.

Pod. This could be genuine, Hall, Lucian's Satire 368-370.

Salt. In favor of authenticity, Ch. 7 at n. 3.

Sal. The difficulties of interpretation tell against attributing it to a master of clarity: in favor, Macleod, CQ 6 (1956) 102-111; against, Hall, Lucian's Satire 298-307. I have not seen the monograph reviewed by Vidalis, REG 93 (1980) 600-602.

Syr. D. In favor of authenticity, Ch. 4 at n. 37.' [End of Appendix C]


PAGE 1869

from: Lucian [c. 117 - c. 180], with an English Translation [from the Greek] by M.D. Macleod, Lecturer in Classics, University of Southampton, in eight volumes, VIII, William Heinemann Ltd, Harvard University Press, MCMLXVII.


Nero is attributed to Lucian in N and two other LUCIANIC MANUSCRIPTS, but there can be little doubt that it is the work of one of the three Philostrati, and probably of the first Philostratus [see Addition 26, 1182], whose other works have been lost though their titles are listed in the Suda, rather than his son, Philostratus the "Athenian," who wrote The Life of Apollonius of Tyana [see Addition 26, 1182-1248] for the empress Julia Domna, though her death in 217 A.D. seems to have preceded its publication. The reasons for ascribing Nero to a Philostratus are as follows:

(1) The style is quite unlike that of Lucian, but in the view of C.L. Kayser, the Teubner editor, it is very like that of the Philostrati.

(2) C. 4 of Nero is very like The Life of Apollonius 4.24...." [505].

PAGE 1870

from: Lucian [c. 117 - c. 180], with an English Translation by A.M. Harmon, of Yale University, in eight volumes, IV, Harvard University Press, William Heinemann Ltd, MCMLIII (1925).

'Alexander the False Prophet

[C.P. Jones (see 1869) states the date as: "165 or later" [e.g. "13th" century?]]

[A.M. Harmon] An account of the false priest of Asclepius, Alexander of Abonoteichus. It has been discussed in detail by Cumont in the Mémoires couronnées de l'académie de Belgique, vol. xl (1887).

Although Alexander achieved honour not only in his own country, a small city in remote Paphlagonia, but over a large part of the Roman world, almost nothing is known of him except from the pages of Lucian. Gems, coins, and inscriptions corroborate Lucian as far as they go, testifying to Alexander's actual existence and widespread influence, and commemorating the name and even the appearance of Glycon, his human-headed serpent. But were it not for Lucian, we should not understand their full significance.

Alexander's religious activity covered roughly the years A.D. 150-170. The cult which he established outlasted him for at least a century. It was highly unusual in its character, as Cumont observes. Sacred snakes were a regular feature of sanctuaries of Asclepius; but to give a serpent a human head and style it the god incarnate was a distinct innovation. Moreover, the proper function of Asclepius was to heal the sick, who passed the night in his temple, expecting either to be cured while they slept or to have some form of treatment suggested to them in their dreams. But at Abonoteichus we hear nothing of incubation, and only incidentally of healing; the "new Asclepius" deals in oracles like Apollo, and gives advice on any subject. This, together with Alexander's extravagant claims of divine descent, confirms Lucian in his appraisal of him as an out-and-out charlatan, aiming to play upon the gross credulity of the times and to secure the greatest gain with the least effort.

Lucian was in a position to know a good deal about Alexander, and clearly believes all that he says. Without doubt his account is essentially accurate, but it need not be credited absolutely to the letter. Lucian was no historian at best, and he was angry [amusing!]. In the account of his relations with Alexander he reveals his own personality more clearly than usual, but not in a pleasant light.

The piece was written at the request of a friend, after A.D. 180, when Alexander had been in his grave for ten years.' [End of introduction] [173].

"Alexander the False Prophet [25, 38, 39, 41-42]" [see #3, 81, 413.]

'[Lucian] When at last many sensible men, recovering, as it were, from profound intoxication, combined against him [Alexander], especially all the followers of Epicurus, and when in the cities they began gradually to detect all the trickery and buncombe of the show, he issued a promulgation designed to scare them, saying that Pontus was full of atheists and Christians who had the hardihood to utter the vilest abuse of him; these he bade them drive away with stones if they wanted to have the god gracious. About Epicurus moreover,

PAGE 1871

he delivered himself of an oracle after this sort; when someone asked him how Epicurus was doing in Hades, he replied:

"With leaden fetters on his feet in filthy mire he sitteth [amusing!]."' [209].

'He [Alexander] established a celebration of mysteries, with torchlight ceremonies and priestly offices, which was to be held annually, for three days in succession, in perpetuity. On the first day, as at Athens,1 [see footnote, below] there was a proclamation worded as follows: "If any atheist or Christian or Epicurean has come to spy upon the rites, let him be off, and let those who believe in the god perform the mysteries, under the blessing of Heaven." Then, at the very outset, there was an "expulsion," in which he took the lead, saying: "Out with the Christians," and the whole multitude chanted in response, "Out with the Epicureans!" Then there was the child-bed of Leto, the birth of Apollo, his marriage to Coronis, and the birth of Asclepius. On the second day came the manifestation of Glycon, including the birth of the god. On the third day there was the union of Podaleirius and the mother of Alexander--it was called the Day of Torches, and torches were burned. In conclusion there was the amour of Selene and Alexander, and the birth of Rutilianus' wife. The torch-bearer and hierophant was our Endymion, Alexander. While he lay in full view, pretending to be asleep, there came down to him from the roof, as if from heaven, not Selene but Rutilia, a very pretty woman, married to one of the Emperor's stewards. She was genuinely in love with Alexander and he with her; and before the eyes of her worthless husband there were kisses and embraces in public....

[[footnote] "1The reference is to the proclamation that preceded the Eleusinian mysteries. Its entire content is unknown, but it required that the celebrants be clean of hand, pure of heart, and Greek in speech. Barbarians, homicides, and traitors were excluded; and there was some sort of restriction in regard to previous diet." [225].]

Although he [Alexander] cautioned all to abstain from intercourse with boys on the ground that it was impious, for his own part his pattern of propriety made a clever arrangement. He commanded the cities in Pontus and Paphlagonia to send choir-boys for three years' service, to sing hymns to the god in his household; they were required to examine, select, and send the noblest, youngest, and most handsome. These he kept under ward and treated like bought slaves, sleeping with them and affronting them in every way. He made it a rule, too, not to greet anyone over eighteen years with his lips, or to embrace and kiss him; he kissed only the young, extending his hand to the others to be kissed by them. They were called "those within the kiss."

He [Alexander] duped the simpletons in this way from first to last, ruining women right and left as well as living with favourites. Indeed, it was a great thing that everyone coveted if he simply cast his eyes upon a man's wife; if, however, he deemed her worthy of a kiss, each husband thought that good fortune would flood his house. Many women even boasted that they had had children by Alexander, and their husbands bore witness that they spoke the truth!' [225, 227, 229].

PAGE 1872

from: Lucian, with an English Translation by A.M. Harmon, of Yale University, in eight volumes, V, Harvard University Press, William Heinemann Ltd, MCMLV (1936).

"The Works of Lucian

The Passing of Peregrinus

[C.P. Jones (see 1869) states the date as: "After 180" [e.g. "13th" century?]]

[A.M. Harmon] An account of the life and death of a Cynic philosopher who for a time in his early life went over to Christianity, practising it to the point of imprisonment under a very tolerant administration, and after returning to Cynicism became in his old age so enamoured of Indic ideas and precedents that he cremated himself at Olympia, just after the games of A.D. 165, even as Calanus had done at Susa in the presence of Alexander the Great and as Zarmarus had done at Athens, after initiation into the mysteries, in the presence of Augustus...." [1].

"The Passing of Peregrinus [11, 12, 13, 14, 16]"

[note: each paragraph begins with "]

'"[Lucian] It was then that he learned the wondrous lore of the Christians, by associating with their priests and scribes in Palestine. And--how else could it be?--in a trice he made them all look like children; for he was prophet, cult-leader, head of the synagogue, and everything, all by himself. He interpreted and explained some of their books and even composed many, and they revered him as a god, made use of him as a lawgiver, and set him down as a protector, next after that other, to be sure, whom1 they still worship, the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world.

"Then at length Proteus ["nickname of the philosopher Peregrinus" [535]] was apprehended for this and thrown into prison, which itself gave him no little reputation as an asset for his future career and the charlatanism and notoriety-seeking that he was enamoured of. Well, when he had been imprisoned, the Christians, regarding the incident as a calamity, left nothing undone in the effort to rescue him. Then, as this was impossible, every other form of attention was shown him, not in any casual way but with assiduity; and from the very break of day aged widows and orphan children could be seen waiting near the prison, while their officials even slept inside with him after bribing the guards. Then elaborate meals were brought in, and sacred books of their were read aloud, and excellent Peregrinus--for he still went by that name--was called by them 'the new Socrates.'

"Indeed, people came even from the cities in Asia, sent by the Christians at their common expense, to succor and defend and encourage the hero. They show incredible speed whenever any such public action is taken; for in no time they lavish their all. So it was then in the case of Peregrinus; much money came to him from them by reason of his imprisonment, and he procured not a little revenue from it. The poor wretches have convinced themselves, first and foremost, that they are going to be immortal and live for all time, in consequence of which they despise death and even willingly give themselves into custody, most of them. Furthermore, their first lawgiver1 [see footnote, below]

PAGE 1873

persuaded them that they are all brothers of one another after they have transgressed once for all by denying the Greek gods and by worshipping that crucified sophist himself and living under his laws. Therefore they despise all things indiscriminately and consider them common property, receiving such doctrines traditionally without any definite evidence. So if any charlatan and trickster, able to profit by occasions, comes among them, he quickly acquires sudden wealth by imposing upon simple folk.

"However, Peregrinus was freed by the then governor of Syria, a man who was fond of philosophy.2 ....

[[footnotes] "1From the wording of this sentence the allusion is so obviously to Christ himself that one is at a loss to understand why Paul, let alone Moses, should have been suggested. For the doctrine of brotherly love cf. Matt. 23,8: ...[5 Greek words].

2The Roman governor of the province of Syria is meant. Identification is impossible because the date of the imprisonment of Peregrinus cannot be fixed." [15].]

"He left home, then, for the second time, to roam about, possessing an ample source of funds in the Christians, through whose ministrations ["care, aid", etc.] he lived in unalloyed prosperity.' [13, 15, 19].

PAGE 1874

from: A Latin Dictionary, Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short, Oxford, 1962 (1879).

"Christinus [Christin, is not listed], a um, adj. [Christus], Christian: fides, Cod. Just. 16, 8, 18: lex, ib. 16, 8, 13: religion, ib. 9, 40, 16.--Hence, subst., a Christian, Tac. A. 15, 44; Suet. Ner. 16; Plin. Ep. 10, 97; very frequent in the Church fathers.

--Absol., a Christian clergyman, Cod. Th. 5, 5, 2; 12, 1, 50.--Sup.: Christianissimus, the most Christian, Hier. Ep. 57, 12: princeps, Ambros. Ep. 1, 1.--Adv.: Christin, in a Christian manner or spirit: regere, Aug. Ep. 89.' [End of entry] [328].

_____ _____ _____

from: Oxford Latin Dictionary, Oxford, 1968.

'Christin ~rum, m. pl. Followers of Christ, Christians.

quaesitissimis poenis adfecit quos per flagitia inuisos uulgus ~os ["Christianos"] appellabat Tac. Ann. 15.44 cognitionibus de ~is ["Christianis"] interfui numquam Plin. Ep. Tra. 10.96(97).I; Suet. Nero 16.2.' [End of entry] [311].

Comment: consider all the extant Pagan Literature. For the Latin words "Christinus" and "Christin" (above), note that the references are from the famous disputed forgeries ["interpolations"], of: "Tacitus"; "Pliny"; "Suetonius" [note: some word forms, do not exactly match dictionary entries]. Reminiscent, of circular arguments. [See: 1864].

[See ('First Use of the Term "Christian"'): 1681; 1683-1687 (from this distance, 2002, I disagree with the results of the author (William Henry Burr, year 1879), 1687. I have not seen convincing evidence for Suetonius, "Adrian" [Hadrian], or, "Aurelius" [Marcus Aurelius])].

PAGE 1875

_____ _____ _____

from: A Latin Dictionary, Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short, Oxford, 1962 (1879).

"Glilaea, ae, f., = ...[Greek word], the province of Galilee in northern Palestine, Plin. 5, 14, 15, [Section]70.--II. Deriv.:

Glilaeus, a, um, adj., of or belonging to Galilee, Galilean: Gl:laea per arva, Sedul.

4, 188: Glilaeas repetat Salvator in oras, Juvenc. ["C. Vettius Aquilinus Juvencus, Chr. poet, fl. " ["A.D."] 325" [ix]]

3, 195.--Subst.: Galilaei, rum, m. the inhabitants of Galilee, Galileans, Tac. A.

12, 54." [800].

_____ _____ _____

from: Oxford Latin Dictionary, 1968.

"Galilae ~rum. m. pl. The inhabitants of Galilee.

Tac. Ann. 12.54." [753]. [See: 1849 (Johnson)].

Comment: consider all the extant Pagan Literature. For the Latin word "Galilaei" (above), note that the reference, in both Latin dictionaries, is from "Tacitus": Annals 12:54.

PAGE 1876

from: #3, 55-56:

[277.-281. "The Non-Christian Witnesses",
appropriately, very briefly summarized.]

277. 'Within the 1st century after Jesus' death only two Latin authors made undisputed [sic!] mention of Him. Tacitus (Ann. 15.44) said that the Christians were named for a Christus who had been condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. Pliny the Younger (Letter to Trajan: Epist. 10.69 [10.96]) said that the Christians sang hymns to a certain Christus as to a God. The Jewish author Flavius Josephus (Ant. 20.9.1 [Ant. xx.200]) mentioned the martyrdom of James, "a [the] brother of Jesus who is [was ("is" occurs "at Mt. 1:16, 27:17" [see 279.])] called the Christ." One must turn to the Bible for any further 1st-century information about Jesus.

The OT cannot be expected to give any direct historical information about Jesus....There remains only the NT as a source for the life of Jesus and the meaning of His work and person.'

[New Catholic Encyclopedia] [see 278.-281., 363., etc.].

278. ["THE NON-CHRISTIAN WITNESSES"] 'As early as the first few centuries of the present era pious Christians searched the Jewish and pagan writers for references to Jesus, convinced that such references ought to be found in them; they regarded with great concern the undeniable defects of tradition, and, in the interest of their faith, endeavoured to supply the want by more or less astute "pious frauds," such as the Acts of Pilate, the letter of Jesus to King Abgar Ukkama of Edessa [see 1989],1 the letter of Pilate to Tiberius, and similar forgeries. Greater still was the reliance on the few passages in profane literature which seemed to afford some confirmation of the historical truth of the things described in the gospels.' [Arthur Drews].

279. "The shorter Josephan [Josephus c. 37 - c. 100 C.E.] passage [Antiquities xx.200 (see 388.)] mentioning Jesus (in a phrase of half-a-dozen words) is more often defended as genuine, but a number of eminent scholars (who certainly did not share Robertson's view of Jesus) agreed with him in impugning it (cf. 122, p. 11). Although even today it is still sometimes argued that this passage refers to Jesus as 'the so-called Christ' [see Reference 279.], and that a Christian interpolator would not have thus disparaged him, Robertson and others (e.g. W.B. Smith in his Ecce Deus) long ago pointed out that the depreciatory 'so' is not in the Greek, which reads 'Jesus who was called Christ'; and that this wording is Christian, occurring at Mt. 1:16, 27:17 and elsewhere in the NT". [G.A. Wells] [see 363., 387.-393.].

280. "Tacitus' Annals (ca. AD 120)...states that 'Christians derive their name and origin from Christ, who was executed by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius'. This is the only really relevant piece of pagan evidence, and Robertson was quite right to say that, whether genuine or not, it states only what Christians were by then themselves saying about the origin of their sect". [G.A. Wells].

PAGE 1877

281. 'J. Weiss [Johannes Weiss 1863 - 1914] is perfectly correct when he says, as we saw previously: "There is no such thing as a really convincing witness in profane literature [see 244.]." It is true that he is able to console himself for this. "What," he asks, "could Josephus or Tacitus do for us? They could at the most merely show that at the end of the first century not only the Christians, but their tradition and Christ-mythos, were known at Rome. When it originated, however, and how far it was based on truth, could not be discovered from Tacitus or Josephus" (p. 91).' [see: Tacitus, 20-56].

from #1, 2, 13.: "for one who is seeking historical truth...a record held sacred is for the most part fundamentally vitiated." [Vitiated (Random House): 1. spoiled; marred. 2. perverted; corrupted. 3. rendered invalid.]."

from #2, 22, 126.: Why, no christian coins, 1st, 2nd, 3rd centuries C.E.? Because the "events", were literary events (Fiction!)--only! [see Reference 126.].


Reflect on the exhibits presented in this Addition (36); etc. Reflect on the history of Christians, as witnesses. Reflect on Christian presumptions [see #3, 78-79; etc.].

from 1735: presumed Pagan witnesses to (Jesus) Christ and Christians:

Tacitus [c. 55 - 120]: Annals 15:44 (all of Annals?): interpolation [Forgery!].

Pliny [62 - 113]: Epistles 96, 97: interpolations [Forgeries!].

Suetonius [c. 69 - after 122]: The Deified Claudius XXV.4: see Subject Index (1989-1991); etc. Not proof!

Suetonius ["until 121/2 secretary to the Emp. Hadrian." (Ox. Dict. C.C.)]: Nero XVI ("Punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition." (Loeb)): see Subject Index (1989-1991); 1704-1705 (Strange, year 1875); 1786; 1811. "Hochart ("Hochart, P., Etudes au sujet de la pérsecution des Chrétiens sous Néron, Paris, 1885") justly says that this reference to the execution of Christians in the middle of enumeration of minor police reforms is a clear interpolation." (The Jesus of the Early Christians, Wells, 1971, 187, 340). Interpolation [Forgery!].

Lucian [c. 117 - c. 180]: "Alexander the False Prophet"; "The Passing of Peregrinus": Romances! Only interpolated? When written? [compare: Philopatris (dated to the 10th or 11th century)]. [See: 1848]. Not proof!

PAGE 1878

Question: Who was the earliest Pagan witness to (Jesus) Christ and Christians?

Celsus? [see 1813]. Celsus (reportedly) wrote: "True Discourse", c. 178.

Celsus is known via Origen [c. 185 - c. 254], and his book: "Contra Celsum" ("middle of the 3rd[?] cent." (Ox. Dict. C.C.)). This, unfortunately, is "Christian history". What is true? What is false? Was Celsus a fictional character?

Alter ego of Origen? Ascribed to Origen? Etc.? [see 1736].

Excursus: from: Faiths of Man, Encyclopedia of Religions, Major-General J.G.R. Forlong, 1964 (1906), Vol. 3, 48, 50:

"a large proportion of his [Origen] 6000 SUPPOSED works are apocryphal, and those known by the Latin translation [from the Greek] of Rufinus [c. 345 - 411] are vitiated by the confession of the editor [Rufinus (see: The Church History of Rufinus of Aquileia, Philip R. Amidon, S.J., Oxford, 1977, VIII-IX: "It was also in 398 that at the instance of the noble scholar Macarius he [Rufinus] undertook his fateful translation of Origen's First Principles. In his preface he repeated his view that the text had been corrupted by Origen's enemies, and he explained that he had therefore altered or replaced statements of doubtful orthodoxy with other, sounder ones taken from Origen's other works.")] that he [Rufinus] amended Origen where he was wrong or heretical."

"what remains to us [from Origen]--being chiefly in Latin translation [from the Greek]--has been garbled by later orthodox scribes, so that we often remain uncertain as to the real ideas of Origen [see #23, 474]." [End of entry]. [End of Excursus]

'"Origen (castrated self [Eusebius H.E. vi 8] ("self-martyrdom" (Diegesis, Taylor, 92))), actually embodied fraud into a system, practised it with the approbation of his fellows, and gave it the technical name of ECONOMIA, by which it has gone ever since."--Higgins's Celtic Druids.' [Diegesis, Robert Taylor, 1829, 404]

The "Celsus" of Origen, is not "a really convincing ["Pagan"] witness" in the 2nd century. [see 1705; etc.]

Who, is a "Pagan" [see 1865] witness in the 3rd century?

[Please! No Christian apologetics! For example: presumed person, and Christian, "Daniel Dubious", 1st, 2nd, or 3rd century, said (wrote) (attested to, by Eusebius, or some other Christian "witness"): presumed person, and Pagan, "Julius Jupiter", in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd century, mentioned Jesus and/or Christ and/or Christian(s).].

Looking for the first "Pagan" witness to (Jesus) Christ and Christians, does one need to look in the famous Fourth Century?


PAGE 1879


from: Forgery in Christianity, A Documented Record of the Foundations of the Christian Religion, by Joseph Wheless [1858 - 1950], Lately Major, Judge Advocate, U.S.A.; Associate Editor (in Section of Comparative Law) of American Bar Association Journal; Life Member of American Law Institute; etc., Knopf, MCMXXX.

[For impressive biography, see: THE NATIONAL CYCLOPAEDIA OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY, University Microfilms, 1967, Vol. 39, 429-430]. [See: 1792].

In grateful appreciation
Henry L. Mencken
Dean of American Letters and Critics
Theologian Emeritus of
a Treatise on the gods


I charge, and purpose to prove, from unimpeachable texts and historical records, and by authoritative clerical confessions, beyond the possibility of denial, evasion, or refutation:

1. That the Bible, in its every Book, and in the strictest legal and moral sense, is a huge forgery. [compare:, main page; etc.]

2. That every Book of the New Testament is a forgery of the Christian Church; and every significant passage in those Books, on which the fabric of the Church and its principal Dogmas are founded, is a further and conscious later forgery, wrought with definite fraudulent intent.

3. Especially, and specifically, that the "famous Petrine text"--"Upon this Rock I will build my church"--the cornerstone of the gigantic fabric of imposture,--and the other, "Go, teach all nations,"--were never uttered by the Jew Jesus, but are palpable and easily-proven late Church forgeries.

4. That the Christian Church, from its inception in the first little Jewish-Christian religious societies until it reached the apex of its temporal glory and moral degradation, was a vast and tireless Forgery-mill.

5. That the Church was founded upon, and through the Dark Ages of Faith has battened on--(yet languishes decadently upon)--monumental and petty forgeries and pious frauds, possible only because of its own shameless mendacity and through the crass ignorance and superstition of the sodden masses of its deluded votaries, purposely kept in that base condition for purposes of ecclesiastical graft and aggrandizement through conscious and most unconscionable imposture.

PAGE 1880

6. That every conceivable form of religious lie, fraud and imposture has ever been the work of Priests; and through all the history of the Christian Church, as through all human history, has been--and, so far as they have not been shamed out of it by skeptical ridicule and exposure, yet is, the age-long stock in trade and sole means of existence of the priests and ministers of all the religions.

7. That the clerical mind, which "reasons in chains," is, from its vicious and vacuous "education," and the special selfish interests of the priestly class, incapable either of the perception or the utterance of truth, in matters where the interests of priestcraft are concerned.

As the Catholic-Protestant-Skeptic Bayle [Pierre Bayle 1647 - 1706], of seventeenth century fame, said: "I am most truly a Protestant; for I protest indifferently against all systems and all sects" of religious imposture.' [xviii-xix].


Forgery, in legal and moral sense, is the utterance or publication, with intent to deceive or defraud, or to gain some advantage, of a false document, put out by one person in the name of and as the genuine work of another, who did not execute it, or the subsequent alteration of a genuine document by one who did not execute the original. This species of falsification extends alike to all classes of writings, promissory notes, the coin or currency of the realm, to any legal or private document, or to a book. All are counterfeit or forged if not authentic and untampered." [xxi].

'"Fraud," says Ingersoll [Robert Ingersoll 1833 - 1899], "is hateful to its victims." The compelling proofs of duplicitous fraud of priestcraft and Church exposed in this book must convince even the most credulous and devout Believer, that the system of "revealed religion" which he "drew in with his mother's milk" and has in innocent ignorance suffered in his system ever since, is simply a veneered Paganism, unrevealed and untrue; is a huge scheme of priestly imposture to exploit the credulous and to live in power and wealth at his expense. Luther hit the bull's-eye of the System--before he established another to pass the same old counterfeit: The Church exists mostly for wealth and self-aggrandizement; to quit paying money to the priests would kill the whole scheme in a couple of years....

Joseph Wheless
New York City
780 Riverside Drive
June 1, 1930' [xxxv-xxxvi].

[Note: Forgery in Christianity, is available on the Internet (several presentations)].

PAGE 1881

from: The Rise of English Culture, by Edwin Johnson [1842 - 1901] [see 1838-1850], M.A., Author of "The Rise of Christendom," "The Pauline Epistles," "Antiqua Mater," etc., with a brief account of the author and his writings, Williams and Norgate, 14, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, (published posthumously) 1904. [See: 1838 (Comment)]. [See: 1744].

"Edwin Johnson and His Writings [Edward A. Petherick, June, 1930]."

'The late Mr. Arbuthnot [see 1884-1887], Oriental scholar, met Johnson on several occasions to discuss the subject of Chronology with him, and there is no doubt that Johnson would have produced a valuable work on Calendars and Chronological Systems, but his health breaking down, he was obliged to lay aside the mass of notes and extracts which he had accumulated on this subject. This material was subsequently acquired by Mr. Arbuthnot. "The Mysteries of Chronology [see 1884-1887]," which appeared in 1900, was very largely based on information which Johnson supplied. The suggestion, however, for the formation of a new Era, "The Victorian," was Mr. Arbuthnot's own.' [xxiv-xxv].


The main results of Johnson's researches, as recorded in his printed writings, are briefly these:--

That the History of Europe--especially Ecclesiastical History--is founded largely upon assumption as well as upon tradition, legend, and error, the biographies of real persons being idealized. That the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are proleptic in character. That there was no constituted Christian Church before the "Eleventh" Century of our Era--eight hundred years ago. That the larger part of the so-called "Middle Ages" is an imaginary or non-existent period; the Modern Period beginning soon after the breaking up of the old Roman Empire. We are therefore not so far removed in time from the Greeks and Romans as our Chronological table teaches. Further: Johnson has traced our Ecclesiastical System backwards to the Arabians, who owe nothing whatever to Latin or Greek Christianity--the indebtedness being in the opposite direction. Christianity, in some form, was, however, anterior to all these systems.

These are no wild theories to be summarily rejected. Though some of the statements may seem too bold or too arbitrary, the reader will find the author's arguments quite intelligible, and not unreasonable.

Many have discovered inexplicable anomalies and discrepancies in their reading of History: in Johnson's printed writings they will, I think, find a solution of their difficulties, an explanation of many things hitherto imperfectly or wholly misunderstood, especially of matters in relation to our System of Chronology.* [see footnote, 1883] In the following pages I have endeavoured to bring together some of the anomalies noticed in my own reading. Those given could easily be supplemented by many more in support of our author's arguments.' [xxx-xxxi].

PAGE 1882

[footnote] '*Our own System of Chronology being impugned, I once asked the author [Edwin Johnson], "How do we stand in relation to other Systems?" and suggested that he should make some attempt towards a reconstruction. The notes and memoranda utilised by Mr. Arbuthnot [see 1884 - 1887] may have been a step in the direction indicated.' [xxx-xxxi].

[footnote (not referenced above)] '*There is a story of the Catacombs having been visited in the "Fourth" century by St. Jerome, when a boy. He used to make the circuit of the sepulchres of the Apostles and Martyrs on Sundays; but Jerome (vide Bp. Westcott) writes like a "sixteenth-century scholar." More; when he [Jerome] translated the Old Testament used the sixteenth century signs for punctuation--a thousand years before they came into general use! It is also to be noticed that some of his [Jerome] works are of a late period, and written over older authors [significance?]--palimpsest [sources?].' [xxxix].

[abstractly related to "palimpsest" (above): Palimpsests, Literature in the Second Degree, Gérard Genette, U. Nebraska, c1997 (French 1982). Some words involved: "textual transcendence"; "palimpsestuous nature of texts"; "textual imitation"; "paratextuality"; "transtextuality"; "intertextuality"; "paratext"; "metatextuality"; "hypertextuality"; "architextuality"; "hypertext"; "hypotext"; "metatext"; "transformation"; "imitation"; etc. ["ix", "1", 3, 4, 5, 7]].

"General Introduction" [Edwin Johnson]

'Bacon [Francis Bacon 1561 - 1626] knew that it required uncommon ability to write good History. He is a witness to the fact that it was impossible for the ablest man to write it, simply because "actions memorable" had not been "tolerably reported as they passed." If this state of things, of which Bacon is not the only witness, had been duly noted by students since his time, there would not have been so great a waste of art on the subject of English History, or of Church History in general. Bacon is embarrassed in referring to Church History. He appears to hint that it is artificial. There is abundance of it, "only," he sighs, "I would the virtue and sincerity of it were according to the mass and quantity." Did he say to himself that it was a branch of Posey, that is, "nothing else but feigned history which may be styled as well in prose as in verse," and that its use was to give "some shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points wherein the nature of things doth deny it?"' [24-25].

"Edwin Johnson Writings."

'"Chronology and other Papers:" Tabulated Extracts, Notes and References. Contributed to "The Mysteries of Chronology" by Mr. Arbuthnot, published in 1900 [see 1884-1887].' [566].

PAGE 1883

from: The Dictionary of National Biography, January 1901--December 1911, Oxford.

"ARBUTHNOT, FORSTER FITZGERALD (1833-1901), orientalist, born at Belgaum, Bombay presidency, on 21 May 1833, was second son of Sir Robert Keith Arbuthnot, second baronet, by his wife Anne, daughter of Field-marshal Sir John Forster Fitzgerald [q.v.].... He is remembered for driving a four-in-hand, and for his seaside residence at Bandra, outside the island, where he entertained Sir Richard and Lady Burton in 1876.... Arbuthnot associated himself with Burton in founding the Kama Shastra Society, for the issue to private subscribers of unexpurgated translations of Oriental classics.... Arbuthnot's own books were in the nature of popular compilations, the two most important being 'Persian Portraits' (1887), and 'Arabic Authors' (1890).... He was a member of council and also a trustee of the Royal Asiatic Society, and he took a prominent part in organising the reception of the International Congress of Orientalists that met in London in 1892. He was given to hospitality both at his town house in Park Lane and at his country residence near Guildford. He took a lively interest in his village neighbours, and his memory is preserved by the Arbuthnot Institute, Shemley Green, under the charge of the Wonersh parish council. He died in London on 25 May 1901.' [47, 48].

_____ _____ _____

from: The Mysteries of Chronology, with Proposal for a New English Era to be called The Victorian, by F.F. Arbuthnot [1833 - 1901], Author, Editor, and Translator of Various Works, London, William Heinemann, 1900, And V.E. ["Victorian era"] 64. [Received this book 1/25/2002. Previously quoted (interlibrary loan), #1, 9, 69.].


The contents of this very slipshod work are as follows:


Introduction 1

About the Date of the Introduction of the Christian Era into Europe 18

About the Date of the Introduction of 'Anno Domini,' and eventually

of 'A.D.,' our present system 41

About the Date of the Introduction of Arabic Numerals into Europe 72

About the Dates of the Births, Accessions, and Deaths of our

English Kings and Queens, going backwards from Queen

Victoria to William the Conqueror 110

About the Early Chroniclers 161

Some Desultory Conclusions 214

In addition to the above there ought to have been a chapter about the dates of the formulation of history in various countries. As a general rule, history begins with the fabulous, is followed by the legendary and the traditional, all at first handed down orally. A collection of these put into writing lays the foundation of the building, and regular history then follows, which may be divided into the possible, the probable, the positive, according to various circumstances.

PAGE 1884

Now, to write a really good scientific work on all the subjects and contents mentioned above would take about fifty years. Moreover, the author must be a scholar with a good knowledge of Greek, Latin, Arabic, and many other languages, besides being well up in archaeology, astronomy, chronology, geography, history, numismatics, and paleography [also, palaeography]. Possessing none of these qualifications, it may be considered most presumptuous on my part even to attempt to unravel some of the mysteries of the past, mysteries which have been often carefully concealed, distorted, falsified, and misrepresented, so that it is now impossible to get at the real truth about them. One can only suggest the phrase so frequently used by Arab authors, 'God alone knows [see 1879 (Origen)].'

Still, the search after truth has ever been my guiding star, and what a difficult pursuit! In the present day, with all our appliances of civilization, there appear to be more persons occupied in leading people away from the truth than persons engaged in attempting to lead them to it. Moreover, the question of 'What is truth?' is somewhat difficult to answer. Even learned judges, acute lawyers, and intelligent jurymen sometimes fail in their mission.

The collection of facts seemed to be the best basis to work upon, and with this in view the contents of this work were first got together for my own information and guidance. Imperfect as it is in many ways, it struck me that some of the subjects touched upon might interest a few persons, and so for their benefit it has been published. [This paragraph describes my researches, and growth of presentation]

It is impossible to name all the persons who have kindly assisted me, but mention must be made of Mr. Edwin Johnson, who made researches on my account in the British Museum, and who from his own knowledge supplied me with much information about the three writers of the Tudor period mentioned in chap. v. and elsewhere. [see 1882, 1883 (Johnson)]

To the officials of the British Museum and of the State Record Office in Chancery Lane I am also much indebted for assistance, information, and invariable courtesy. And the same thanks are due to the officials of the many museums and collections which I visited at various times in different parts of Europe.

F.F. Arbuthnot.

22, Albemarle Street,

London, W." ["v"-vii].

"It is said that Napoleon called HISTORY 'A FABLE OR FICTION AGREED UPON.' Chronology may be included under the same heading, most certainly the chronology of the time before the introduction of some kind of record." [14].

PAGE 1885

"Chapter I.

About the Date of the Introduction of the Christian Era into Europe.

The LEGEND handed down to us by the Benedictines and other ecclesiastical authorities, and which has been apparently copied into every encyclopaedia and other work of reference, is briefly this: 'Dionysius Exiguus [see #13, 306], a Scythian monk and abbot of Rome, invented the Christian era about the year 532 A.D.'

There is no evidence to show when this legend was first put into circulation. It is quoted by Scaliger (1583) without any attempt at criticism. Since his time this story has been repeated over and over again, so that apparently it is now accepted as an historical truth.

In the French 'Grande Encyclopaedia,' now in course of publication, a distinguished savant, in a short notice on chronology, repeats the statement that the Christian era was invented by Denis le Petit (as the French call him [Dionysius Exiguus]) in the sixth century A.D., but that it did not come into use until the eleventh [see #13, 306 (Exiguus)].

The various compilers of historical and chronological works do not tell the public that the legend has been doubted or denied, probably because they were themselves ignorant of the fact. It is, however, true that some 200 years ago the Jesuit Father Hardouin (1646-1729), in his Latin work on the chronology of the Old Testament, contemptuously rejected the statement about Dionysius Exiguus. Now, Hardouin was a man who knew what he was writing about, and his worth and genius have been valued by a few scholars. But that acute critic of the early Benedictine literature and of other monkish authors was, like many others, certainly not appreciated in his time, as shown by an epitaph, recorded as follows:

'In expectation of the judgment,
here lies
the most paradoxical of men,
by nation a Frenchman, by religion a Roman,
the portent of the literary world,
the worshipper and the destroyer of venerable antiquity.

Favoured in learning,
he woke to publish dreams and thoughts unheard of.
He was pious in his scepticism,
a child in credulity, a youth in rashness,
an old man in madness.' [see Appendix III, 724]

And thus was genius, doubt, and criticism in that age handed down to posterity." ["18"-19].

PAGE 1886

"THE ACTUAL DATE OF THE BIRTH AND DEATH OF CHRIST IS NOT KNOWN. It may be said to be founded on chronological calculations connected with the two Herods and the Roman Emperors, and probably made long after the event. The date is now supposed to be some three, four, or more years out in the calculation, BUT STILL IT IS A FACT ACCEPTED, AND NEED NOT BE DISTURBED IN ANY WAY." [21]. [See: 1804 ("too dangerous to tackle")].

"AS IS WELL KNOWN, THE BENEDICTINES AND OTHER MONKS WERE IN THE HABIT OF PUTTING FORTH LEGENDS, LIVES OF SAINTS, AND OTHER WORKS UNDER VARIOUS NAMES. Up to the date of the introduction of printing [see 1991] in the middle of the fifteenth century the whole of the learning of Europe was in the hands of the priesthood, a very close CORPORATION [see #4, 123, 534.], which looked keenly after their own interests, and MANIPULATED EVERYTHING IN ANY WAY THEY CHOSE. THERE WAS NO PUBLICATION, NO CRICITISM, NO CONTRADICTION OF ANY SORT." [22-23].

"Now, this business of forging old literature has existed at all times and at all places [see this Addition (36)]. Mr. Thomas Chenery, in a most valuable and interesting lecture on the Arabic language, given at Oxford in 1869, says (and his remarks apply equally to the Benedictines): 'The notion of ancient Arabic literature, of which some fragments are said to have come down to us, is, or ought to be, quite exploded. The Arabs, for instance, have preserved what they say is the lament of Amr, son of Al Harith, son of Modad the Jorhomi, who was expelled from Mecca and from the care of the Ka'beh, and forced to take refuge in Yemen at some remote time. Albert Schultens believed this Amr to have been contemporary with Solomon, and published the verses among his "Monumenta Vetustiora Arabiae" as "Carmen Salamonis aetatem contingens." But he probably did not know that the Moslem men of letters were among the most unscrupulous and shameless of forgers, and were in the constant habit of placing snatches of poetry in the mouths of the heroes whose deeds they chronicled. The piece in question is in regular metre, determined by the quantity of syllables after the manner of Latin or Greek, and there is reason to believe that this more elaborate form of poetry was introduced at no early period. The conclusion to which we are forced to come is that these verses were probably composed by some versifier under the Khalifs when the old legends of the people were digested into a regular historical chronicle.'" [23-24].

"Now, the whole of the period from the fifth to the fifteenth century was one of great darkness as regards regular historical records, and it is difficult to fix accurate dates with absolute certainty.

It must also be remembered that the two great authorities about the literary work of the Benedictines, viz., Mabillon [1632 - 1707] and Zeigelbauer [Magnoald Ziegelbauer 1689 (1688?) - 1750], only lived during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, many centuries after Cassiodorus and Benedict. During that long interval, and before our present chronology was established, it is highly probable that more was based upon legend and tradition than upon reliable historical evidence." [28].

PAGE 1887

from: Literary Forgeries, by J.A. Farrer [James Anson Farrer 1849 - 1925], With an Introduction by Andrew Lang, Longmans, Green, and Co., 39 Paternoster Row, London, New York, Bombay, and Calcutta, 1907. [See: 1989].


[Introduction: Andrew Lang] "Mr. Farrer, in a manner unpopular, but scientific, leaves some of his mysteries unsolved. The case of Simonides is the most puzzling of any...." [xvii]. [Andrew Lang was a literary phenomenon].

"Chapter III.

Greek Forgery: Constantine Simonides [1820? - 1867?] [see 1749-1750].

Of all the names which belong to the darker side of literature none is more famous or interesting than that of Constantine Simonides, the Greek, who claims the year 1820 as that of his birth. For with whatever right Simonides is assigned to the forging fraternity, his industry, his learning, and his adventures claim for him a position apart, whilst it may be doubted whether any of his contemporaries in the learned world at all approached him in the art of calligraphy or in his knowledge of palaeography.

And it may be questioned whether the world is yet right as to the truth or falsity of all the claims of Simonides...." [39].

'The Sinaitic Codex.

["Its date is probably about the middle of the 4th[?] cent." (Ox. Dict. C.C.)]

This fact [lie about father [58-59]] of course throws doubt on all that rests only on the word of Simonides. But it does not absolutely disprove all his assertions, of which by far the most amazing was his claim to have written when at Mount Athos in 1840 the Sinaitic Codex (Codex A), which Tischendorf discovered at Mount Sinai under HIGHLY SINGULAR CIRCUMSTANCES between the years 1844 and 1859. The claim of Simonides to have transcribed this Codex, at the suggestion of his alleged uncle Benedict, as an intended present for the Czar Nicholas I., was first publicly made in the Guardian of 5th September, 1862, and in the Literary Churchman on 16th December of the same year. Nor could anything be more precise and circumstantial in detail, or more temperate in tone than the letters in which this claim was made. The implication that Tischendorf had mistaken a manuscript of the NINETEENTH century for one of the FOURTH naturally roused that irascible theologian to a condition of fury.

That Simonides was a good enough calligrapher, even at an early age, to have written the Codex, is hardly open to doubt, and it is in his favour that the world was first indebted to him in 1856 for the opening chapters in Greek of the Shepherd of Hermas, with a portion of which the Codex Sinaiticus actually terminates. THE COINCIDENCE SEEMS ALMOST MORE SINGULAR THAN CAN BE ACCOUNTED FOR BY CHANCE.

PAGE 1888
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